If you’re a fan of Marvel movies, you may have noticed a certain elderly gentleman with glasses and a mustache who keeps appearing in the films. Who is this man? It’s none other than comic book legend, Stan Lee.
Stan Lee, is an American comic book writer, editor, actor, producer, publisher, television personality, and the former president and chairman of Marvel Comics.
In collaboration with several artists, most notably Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, he co-created Spider-Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Thor, and many other fictional characters. In addition, he headed the first major successful challenge to the industry’s censorship organization, the Comics Code Authority, and forced it to reform its policies. Lee subsequently led the expansion of Marvel Comics from a small division of a publishing house to a large multimedia corporation.
He was inducted into the comic book industry’s Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1995.
Stan “The Man” Lee’s Cameos List
To celebrate the release of Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man reboot hitting theaters this week, and Stan Lee’s inevitable cameo in the film, I have compiled a list of Stan Lee cameos from Marvel TV shows and movies.
Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989)
In the made-for-TV-movie, Lee’s first appearance in a Marvel movie or TV project is as a jury foreman in the trial of Dr. David Banner.
Lee appears as a hot dog stand vendor on the beach when Senator Kelly emerges naked onshore after escaping from Magneto.
Lee appeared during Spider-Man’s first battle with the Green Goblin, pulling a little girl away from falling debris. In the DVD’s deleted scenes, Lee has an expanded cameo in which he plays a street vendor who tries to sell Peter Parker a pair of sunglasses “just like the X-Men wear.”
As a child, Matt Murdock stops Lee from crossing the street and getting hit by a bus.
Lee appears walking alongside former TV-series Hulk, Lou Ferrigno, in an early scene, both as security guards at Bruce Banner’s lab. It was his first speaking role in a film based on one of his characters.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Lee pulls an innocent person away from danger during Spider-Man’s first battle with Doctor Octopus. In a deleted scene that appears as an extra on the film’s DVD release, Lee has another cameo, saying, “Look, Spider-Man stole that child’s sneakers.”
Fantastic Four (2005)
Lee appears for the first time as a character that he created for the comics, Willie Lumpkin, the mail carrier who greets the Fantastic Four as they enter the Baxter Building.
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
Lee and Chris Claremont (co-creator of many important X-Men characters) appear as two of Jean Grey’s neighbors in the opening scenes set 20 years ago. Lee, credited as “Waterhose man,” is watering the lawn when Jean telekinetically redirects the water from the hose into the air.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Lee appears in a credited role as “Man in Times Square”. He stands next to Peter Parker, both of them reading a news bulletin about Spider-Man, and commenting to Peter that, “You know, I guess one person can make a difference”. He then says his catch phrase, “‘Nuff said.”
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Lee appears as himself at Reed Richards’ and Susan Storm’s first wedding, being turned away by a security guard for not being on the guest list. In Fantastic Four Annual No.3 (1965), in which the couple married, Lee and Jack Kirby are similarly turned away.
Iron Man (2008)
Lee appears at a gala cavorting with three blonds, where Tony Stark mistakes him for Hugh Hefner. In the theatrical release of the film, Stark simply greets Lee as “Hef” and moves on without seeing Lee’s face; another version of the scene was filmed where Stark realizes his mistake, but Lee graciously responds, “That’s okay, I get this all the time.”
The Incredible Hulk (2008)
Lee appears as a hapless citizen who accidentally drinks a soft drink mixed with Bruce Banner’s blood, leading to the discovery of Dr. Banner’s location in a bottling plant in Brazil.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Luring the Stark Expo, Lee, wearing suspenders and a red shirt and black and purple tie, is greeted by Tony Stark as “Larry King”.
Lee appears among many people at the site where Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, lands on earth. He tears the back off his pickup truck in an attempt to pull Mjolnir out of the ground with a chain and causes everyone to laugh by asking, “Did it work?”.
Lee is again used as comic relief, this time portraying a general in World War II. When Captain America/Steve Rogers is queued to a stage to receive an award, a man goes on stage to tell the presenter that Rogers will not be attending. The general mistakes the man for Rogers, commenting, “I thought he’d be taller.”
The Avengers (2012)
Lee makes a cameo appearance as a man interviewed by the media about his opinion concerning the Avengers thwarting the Chitauri’s attack on Manhattan Island. Lee’s character responds with, “Superheroes in New York? Give me a break”, and then returns to a game of chess with a fellow senior citizen.
Stan Lee’s Cameos
Courtesy of Reelz
Courtesy of YouTube user BehindCurtain2
It’s not just Marvel movies that Stan Lee has cameos in. He also makes appearances as himself in Kevin Smith’s Mallrats and on various TV shows, and a somewhat odd appearance in The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement as an Italian man who learned English from The Three Stooges.
Courtesy of Reelz
Courtesy of Reelz
What’s Next for Smilin’ Stan Lee?
Be sure to catch Stan Lee’s appearance as the school librarian in The Amazing Spider-Man this week. And with Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2, Doctor Strange, Ant Man, The Avengers 2, and Nick Fury movies in the works (click here for more details), there’s no shortage of cameos for the Generalissimo in the future.
What’s Your Favorite?
Now let’s hear what your favorite Stan Lee cameo is. Choose any two from the poll below, or let me know if I missed one in the comments below.